Future Google Pixel phones could have curved screens

Future Google Pixel phones could have curved screens

Like it or not, the next big thing in smartphones appears to be putting edge displays in flagships. Samsung has been ahead of the curve (get it?) ever since the 2014 Galaxy Note Edge, but it seems the competition has finally started catching up, judging by a recent report pointing in the direction of Google equipping a future Pixel-branded smartphone with one as well.

We've already covered the main subject of the report, which claimed Google was willing to invest $880 million in LG Display to secure OLED displays for its next flagship phone. However, one little detail is of particular interest: the OLED panels Google wants are, in fact, of the flexible variety, meaning there's more than a fair chance a successor to the Pixel could sport a curved-edge display.

A few things to note, however: firstly, while Google has expressed interest in this investment, nothing is actually set in stone, as LG is said to just be considering the proposal for now, meaning there's a significant chance of the deal not going through. Also, an investment does not mean placing a manufacturing order, though having the power to call dibs on OLED panels is the most obvious benefit Google will get out of this partnership. Lastly, seeing as the Pixel was released almost half a year ago, it's safe to say that Google is currently underway in prototyping a potential successor. In other words, even if curved screens do eventually come to the Pixel line, it's extremely unlikely their production will be ready in time for the Pixel 2's release, so don't hold your breath.

Still, considering the current smartphone market climate, curved screens are a hot commodity – the Galaxy S8 was a statement from Samsung, which has now doubled down on the technology, and other device makers now seem to be following suit. Most notably, we've been hearing rumors of the iPhone 8 sporting one as well, so it's no surprise Google would also want to enter the race as soon as possible, before the market gets overcrowded with copycats.

Many customers would object to such a turn of events, though, as curved screens have historically been more prone to breaking when dropped. In the best-case scenario, Google would offer two versions of the next Pixel, one with curved screens and one without, Galaxy S7 style. However, if the LG deal doesn't go through, the question remains whether Google will even be able to quickly find another manufacturer of flexible OLED panels, so for now nothing is absolutely certain.

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18 Comments

1. haruken

Posts: 303; Member since: Nov 06, 2013

Everyone's trying to copy Samsung. Who would have thought this a few years ago ?

2. promise7

Posts: 894; Member since: Jul 03, 2013

Not a fan of curved screens yet. I'd be happy if the Pixel 2 had a large flat screen with small bezels like the G6.

3. fancollo

Posts: 130; Member since: Dec 30, 2015

curved screens? ok, if that's where this technology is going, then i'll be back using a Sony Ericsson K750i... i held an S8 in my hands last weekend and it was seriously terrible. i have no idea what exactly the benefit of a curved screen should be. it's totally useless and makes people think it's nice because it's futuristic...

4. monoke

Posts: 1142; Member since: Mar 14, 2015

Don't do it Google. Don't fall for that sh*t.

5. DFranch

Posts: 522; Member since: Apr 20, 2012

Nooooooo!!!! I've been holding out hope that the Pixel 2 would get rid of the huge top and bottom bezels, but remain flat. I have the S7 Edge, and am not a huge fan of the curved display. I have turned off all the edge gimmicks.

11. Tony_5600

Posts: 82; Member since: Apr 09, 2017

There was a flat version of the S7 FYI... if you hated the edge why did you bought it in the first place?

6. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Ugh I hate curved screens. Thank you Samsung for ruining phones.

7. Cat97

Posts: 1766; Member since: Mar 02, 2017

Stupidest trend ever invented.

10. omnitech

Posts: 1131; Member since: Sep 28, 2016

Nothing stupid about it unless you think curved backs are stupid. It's just a curved front to go along with a curved back. It's brilliant.

13. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

A curved back makes sense because it fits better in your hand. The size and curved back of the original Moto X were the main reasons everyone raved about the feel in the hand. So besides symmetry or looking trendy, what benefits are there to a curved front screen?

15. omnitech

Posts: 1131; Member since: Sep 28, 2016

It's comfortable in your hands regardless of where you are holding, not using metal or plastic for the front curve also saves weight. Either way, it doesn't need an advantage if there are no drawbacks. Pretty is enough, as long as it doesn't detract, which it doesn't from my limited hands on. I'll update once I get it.

17. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

My point was when you hold a phone in your hand, it isn't flat with squared of edges, it has a curve to it. So a phone with a curved back fits into that curve better. The display is facing outward, so there isn't a benefit to having curves there other than asthetics. Now as for drawbacks, I've read a number of complaints from people who don't like curved fronts on phones because of inadvertent display presses. For example, when holding it, their palm pushing against the edge of the display sometimes registers as a touch. You don't have that issue with a flat front on the phone.

8. maple_mak

Posts: 953; Member since: Dec 18, 2013

Seriously, HTC?

9. omnitech

Posts: 1131; Member since: Sep 28, 2016

The curve screen haters should try an S8, no drawbacks. Better looks. No more accidental touches than a normal flat screen but better looks and ergonomics and symmetry. Win win.

12. fancollo

Posts: 130; Member since: Dec 30, 2015

i did try it. and it's no good - like all curved screens. why does a manufacturer invest time and money to create software for hardware to avoid accidental touches of an area of the screen which doesn't offer any type of benefit? why does it have to be curved? does it offer something so fantastic that it HAS to be curved? are there applications that are so miraculously amazing on a curved screen and bad on a flat screen? so my statement was right, it's just about optics and "better looks" as you said, nothing else. and that my friend is seriously absurd about where we're heading with smartphone displays

16. omnitech

Posts: 1131; Member since: Sep 28, 2016

How is it no good? Say the front curve wasn't display and was say aluminum or plastic like the HTC One X or HTC One S? Would you have an issue with it? My guess is that you wouldn't. So if you have no problem with an aluminum curve or a plastic front curve what's wrong with glass if there's no drawbacks and it just looks way sexier? The answer is there is nothing wrong with it and I bet people will be on board with it as soon as late 2017.

18. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

If that were the case, that would be fine. I do like the looks of a curved front. I even said as much in my last post that the benefit is asthetics. It's when asthetics interfere with function that I dislike it. When the edges of the curved display are active and can register touch, leading to inadvertent screen presses, that's when there's a problem and that's what fancollo is referring to. If Samsung does make the display active to very edge of the glass, it's a problem. If they don't, then it's not truly an edge to edge display. But with a flat front with the display going to the edge of the frame, they have both an edge to edge display and don't have issues with inadvertent screen presses.

14. AnnDroid

Posts: 90; Member since: Aug 02, 2011

I would be thrilled with a massive battery, even if the phone was a tad thicker. After a year of use, all my phones have refused to give me all day usage. (have the Nexus 6P now)

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